Morpurgo pens Wizard of Oz retelling for HarperCollins Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz tells the story of L Frank Baum’s original tale through the eyes of Toto, Dorothy’s trusted canine companion. Morpurgo said: “The Wizard of Oz is a truly wonderful and magical tale, but I always felt that there was one character who had little part to play in the story. Dorothy we know and love, but her dog Toto does little more than accompany her on her adventures. We never know what he thinks of all that is going on – he just gets carried around a lot. Why not tell the story again, but through Toto’s eyes! Our hope is that through Toto, many thousands of children, and grown-up children too, will come to enjoy L Frank Baum’s wonderful Wizard of Oz again.” Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz will publish on 7th September 2017 in full-colour hardback, with simultaneous publication in the UK and US, as well as in e-book and audiobook formats. Publication will coincide with the opening of Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories, a free exhibition at the V & A Museum of Childhood which celebrates Morpurgo’s life and writing. The exhibition moves from Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books, where it is currently on display, and will open on 22nd July 2017 until 25th February 2018.
Oz like you’ve never seen it before Long overshadowed by the immensely popular 1939 remake, the rarely seen silent version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (1925) will be screened one time only on Sunday, March 26 at 4:30 p.m. at the Town Hall Theatre, 40 Main St., Wilton. The program, which will include an earlier short Oz film also based on stories and characters of author L. Frank Baum, will be accompanied by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based silent film musician. Accompanist Jeff Rapsis specializes in creating music that bridges the gap between an older film and the expectations of today’s audiences. Using a digital synthesizer that recreates the texture of a full orchestra, he improvises scores in real time as a movie unfolds, so that the music for no two screenings is the same. “It’s kind of a high wire act, but it helps create an emotional energy that’s part of the silent film experience,” Rapsis said. “It’s easier to be in tune with the emotional line of the movie and the audience’s reaction when I’m able to follow what’s on screen, rather than be buried in sheet music,” he said. The silent version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (1925) and other Oz-related silent films will be shown on Sunday, March 26 at 4:30 p.m. at the Town Hall Theatre, 40 Main St., Wilton, N.H. Admission is free; a donation of $5 per person is suggested to help defray expenses. For more info, visit http://www.wiltontownhalltheatre.com or call (603) 654-3456. For more info on the music, visit http://www.jeffrapsis.com.